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Egypt's Women in the Balance

December 27, 2011 by Charity Wallace

The recent news coming from Egypt is alarming. Many around the world were shocked and horrified to see the brutal beating of women in the streets of Cairo. The very women who courageously stood shoulder to shoulder with men during the days of the revolution are now being beaten and mistreated. There is great expectation amongst Egyptians for change that will result in every person’s voice being heard and everyone’s rights protected. However, the recent events are cause for concern. As we look around the world, it is clear that countries that respect the rights of both men and women are more stable, free, and prosperous. As Rola Dashti said during her fight for women’s rights in Kuwait, “half a democracy is not a democracy.” The elections in Egypt signal that the early seeds of democracy are beginning to take root. But, for Egypt to flourish, women must remain part of the equation in a meaningful way. Women have now taken to the streets to declare that they will not stand for the brutal treatment of their sisters. I hope Egyptians stand firmly together, as they did during the revolution, to ensure that all people are treated fairly and with respect. Only then can Egypt truly experience the freedom that a true democracy promises.


Author

Charity Wallace
Charity Wallace

Charity N. Wallace serves as the Senior Advisor to the Women's Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute and is in an executive graduate program in pursuit of a Global Master of Arts degree in international relations from The Fletcher School at Tufts University. Most recently, Ms. Wallace served as the Vice President of the Global Women’s Initiatives and Senior Advisor to Mrs. Laura Bush. In this role, Ms. Wallace was responsible for setting the vision and managing the policy engagement for the women’s initiatives, including Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon global health initiative, empowering women in the Middle East and working with First Ladies from around the world. The Women's Initiative aims to improve access to education, health care, and economic opportunity for women and children in Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan.

From February 2009 through September 2010, Wallace served as the Chief of Staff to Mrs. Laura Bush.  Wallace oversaw Mrs. Bush’s initiatives - from her wide ranging policy agenda to her the publishing and promotion of Mrs. Bush’s bestselling book, Spoken from the Heart. Wallace served in the Bush Administration from January 2001 to January 2009.  During her tenure in the administration, she served as Deputy Chief of Protocol of the United States (2007-2009), Director of Advance for First Lady Laura Bush (2004-2007), and worked in public liaison positions in Presidential Advance, the U.S. Department of Education, the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, and USA Freedom Corps. During her tenure in the Bush Administration and in her current role, Wallace has traveled to 70 countries.

Ms. Wallace serves on the Board of Advisors for the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University, the Advisory Board of ARZU Studio Hope, the Advisory Board of 4word Women and the Advisory Board of All In Together, an bi-partisan organization that promotes women’s engagement in political and civic life.  Ms. Wallace is an ex-officio member on the Human Freedom Advisory Council for the Bush Institute.  Ms. Wallace wrote the foreword for the book Work, Love, Pray, which was released in 2011. A native of California, Ms. Wallace graduated magna cum laude from Pepperdine University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science, with a focus in international relations. 

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